Reprise (kind of) Valentine’s Day, Spinster Auntie Day, A Girls Gotta do What Gets Her Through February 14th
Let’s get real here. Valentines Day sucks. It just does.
Oh sure, when you’re in the beginning of a relationship it can be all hearts and flowers, but in my opinion, it is the pink-clad, chocolate covered ugly step-sister of New Year’s Eve. Neither rarely live up to our expectations.
That being said, for their own emotional survival, some single women take things into their own hands.
Amy Pohler for instance. She invented Galentine’s Day.
Galentine’s Day is a popular fictional holiday for women to celebrate with their girlfriends. Created by Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, the holiday takes place every year on Feb. 13 in celebration of female friendship.
I love that.
Once upon a time, I created a day too.
Except mine makes me shudder with shame. You be the judge.
Here ya go…
I am not proud of what I’m about to reveal—but it’s the truth.
Once upon a time, I had the world by the balls. Or the tits. Both are equally painful if you think about it.
Anyhow, I had a job I loved, lots of friends and foreign travel. I ate and drank well. I had enough sex (although, do you really ever have enough sex? — Asking for a friend). Only one thing stuck in my craw and I was an A-number-one brat about it.
Thinking back on this chapter of my life, I can’t believe what a spoiled jerk I was. A serious boil on the ass of humanity.
Nevertheless, I still think the cause was a good one—I just went about it all wrong.
I was nearing my forties, terminally single, and childless by choice.
One night, tipsy on wine and inadequacy after attending yet another friend’s baby shower directly on the heels of Mother’s Day, I decided that there needed to be a National holiday to celebrate women like…well, me…who am I kidding? Just me.
I picked a day in September, because of where it sits on the calendar (I wasn’t a total asshole). I placed it directly after summer and just prior to the run-up to the holidays. I think it was September 20th.
After careful consideration, filled with equal parts entitlement and hubris, I gathered together my family and friends to decree that September 20th would heretofore be known as Spinster Auntie Day!
I wanted cake. Cupcakes to be exact. I wanted decorations. And gifts. I think I even registered somewhere. God help me.
Why my sister didn’t, at the very least, gag and tie me up until I decided to behave myself is beyond me. Anyway…
My feeling was this: I celebrated everyone — all the time.
Weddings and their showers, babies and their showers and birthdays. So many baby birthdays… I lost count. In your thirties, celebrating matrimony and childbirth essentially takes up most of your Saturdays and many of your Sundays. Society at large celebrates mommies and motherhood. And families. As fun as that can be—and it was fun—after a decade I felt like an outsider.
It was a club of which I was not a member. Cue the violins.
There was no day for me and the many women like me. (Insert hands on hips, whining and foot stomps here.)
The unmarried, childless women that all the other women turned to in times of joy and crisis.
The Auntie. In my case, The Spinster Auntie.
The diaper changing, stroller pushing, tote lugging, binkie washing, baby wranglers.
The ones who take worried midnight phone calls, do emergency 6 am pharmacy runs, and read Goodnight Moon over and over tens of thousands of times. We sit covered in drool or some unidentified sticky substance to watch Frozen or Toy Story or Cars until we want to gouge our eyes out while the mommies grab a quick shower, run an errand, or God willing, catch a nap.
We were regularly available because we were a part of that village, you know, the one that it takes to raise a kid.
And besides that, we had no real life.
At the time I knew the parents were heroic. No question about it. But I couldn’t help feeling like at times we were the unsung heroes. No one meant to overlook us. They were sleep deprived and just so fucking busy being full-time parents.
Overlooking is never intentional.
Now before you go and totally hate me (If you don’t already), don’t get me wrong. I loved my auntie duties. My time spent with my niece and nephew and the children of all of my friends are irreplaceable. Every boo-boo kiss, hand-hold, “I wuv you”, and baby-belly-laugh was pure joy to me and I wouldn’t have missed it. I felt lucky to be a member of the inside circle.
I just wanted a day. And cake. Don’t forget about the cake.
I don’t remember if we ever celebrated Spinster Auntie Day more than once. Probably not. I’m certain I went on with my life, too ashamed to bring it up again. I think if asked my sister, with a shudder, could remember.
Come to find out I was not alone in my unadulterated shamelessness. In 2009, someone actually got a National Aunt and Uncle Day added to the calendar (I like my title better), but I never heard about it because by that time I was married and had, at long last, finally gotten over myself.
Listen, loves, the point here (if there is one), is this: Is there an unsung hero, an Auntie or Uncle either by birth or just their proximity, around you now? Please, please, will you say thank you and buy them a cupcake? From me?